A synthetic peptide corresponding to the extracellular loop 2 region of claudin-4 protects against Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin in vitro and in vivo

Archana Shrestha, Susan L. Robertson, Jorge Garcia, Juliann Beingasser, Bruce A. McClane, Francisco A Uzal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) action starts when the toxin binds to claudin receptors. Claudins contain two extracellular loop domains, with the second loop (ECL-2) being slightly smaller than the first. CPE has been shown to bind to ECL-2 in receptor claudins. We recently demonstrated that Caco-2 cells (a naturally CPE-sensitive enterocyte-like cell line) can be protected from CPE-induced cytotoxicity by preincubating the enterotoxin with soluble full-length recombinant claudin-4 (rclaudin- 4), which is a CPE receptor, but not with recombinant nonreceptor claudins, such as rclaudin-1. The current study evaluated whether a synthetic peptide corresponding to the claudin-4 ECL-2 sequence can similarly inhibit CPE action in vitro and in vivo. Significant protection of Caco-2 cells was also observed using either rclaudin-4 or the claudin-4 ECL-2 peptide in both a preincubation assay and a coincubation assay. This inhibitory effect was specific, since rclaudin-1 and a synthetic peptide based on the claudin-1 ECL-2 offered no protection to Caco-2 cells. However, the claudin-4 ECL-2 peptide was unable to neutralize cytotoxicity if CPE had already bound to Caco-2 cells. When the study was repeated in vivo using a rabbit small intestinal loop assay, preincubation or coincubation of CPE with the claudin-4 ECL-2 peptide significantly and specifically inhibited the development of CPE-induced luminal fluid accumulation and histologic lesions in rabbit small intestinal loops. No similar in vivo protection from CPE was afforded by the claudin-1 ECL-2 peptide. These results suggest that claudin-4 ECL-2 peptides should be further investigated for their potential therapeutic application against CPE-associated disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4778-4788
Number of pages11
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine(all)

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